03/08/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 22:43
UW-Oshkosh junior Mark Choinski is seeded fourth among 18 participants in the 157-pound weight class for this weekend's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Wrestling Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.
Competition begins at 10 a.m. (Central Time) Friday (March 9) and 9 a.m. (Central Time) Saturday (March 10) from the Cleveland Public Auditorium.
A total of 180 wrestlers will compete in this weekend's national meet. Student-athletes qualified for the event by placing in the top three in their respective weight classes at one of the six NCAA regional tournaments held February 23-25.
Choinski, who owns a 19-1 (3 pins) season record, earned his second consecutive visit to the NCAA Championships by finishing second at the Upper Midwest Regional in Minneapolis, Minn. Choinski compiled a 3-1 regional record after losing a 6-3 decision to Ryan Epps of Augsburg University (Minn.) in the title match.
Choinski's schedule for this weekend begins with a contest against unseeded Tyler Gazaway (33-9) from Roger Williams College (R.I.). The sophomore Gazaway was a third-place finisher at the Northeast Regional held in Worcester, Mass.
If successful in his first match, Choinski would wrestle unseeded Dominick Reyes (29-14) from Johns Hopkins University (Md.) in his second bout. Reyes, a freshman, placed third at the Southeast Regional held in Rocky Mount, Va.
If Choinski loses to Gazaway in his first contest, he would wrestle the loser between second-seeded Logan Thomsen (29-1) of Wartburg College (Iowa) and unseeded Eric Hutchinson (20-9) of York College (Pa.) in an elimination match. Thomsen, a senior who captured first place at the Lower Midwest Regional in Dubuque, Iowa, was last year's national runner-up in the 157-pound weight class. The freshman Hutchinson was a second-place finisher at the Southeast Regional.
Augsburg University's Epps (38-1) is ranked first among the eight seeded wrestlers for this weekend's national meet. Thomsen is seeded second, Zach Wilhelm (43-2) from Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.) third, Choinski fourth, Cole Erickson (16-7) from Coe College (Iowa) fifth, Raymond Jazikoff (45-5) from New York University sixth, Kyle Hatch (39-2) from Wabash College (Ind.) seventh and Egan Berta (33-6) from North Central College (Ill.) eighth.
Choinski, who collected All-America honors with his sixth-place finish at last year's NCAA Championships, enters this season's national meet with a career record of 61-13 (17 pins).
UW-Oshkosh has produced 15 NCAA Division III All-America performances and three national champions. Nazar Kulchytskyy, the 2013 and 2014 d3wrestle.com Wrestler of the Year, owns all three of the Titans' national titles, claiming championships at 157 pounds in both 2012 and 2014, and at 165 pounds in 2013.
Last year, Wartburg College scored 129.5 points to win its sixth NCAA title in seven seasons and 13th overall. Augsburg University, the 2015 national champion, finished second with 79 points, Wabash College third with 62.5, Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) fourth with 61.5 and Messiah College (Pa.) fifth with 56.